A welcome boost for Cranbrook's bus services
PUBLISHED: 08:01 05 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 08 May 2019
Buses to and from Exeter will run more frequently, in response to high demand from Cranbrook residents
Good news for bus travellers in Cranbrook - Stagecoach is introducing extra services to and from Exeter at the end of May.
A new timetable for the 4/4A/4B route between Exeter and Axminster comes into effect on Sunday, May 26.
Throughout the day on Monday to Saturday, buses from Cranbrook to Exeter will leave every 20 minutes, with extra services at peak times. The return buses will leave Exeter at the same times. There is also an extra bus leaving Exeter at 22.10, to bridge the gap between 21.10 and 23.10.
The other main change is that the Sunday service will be extended beyond Cranbrook to Ottery St Mary and Honiton. Most buses will continue to Sidmouth as Service 9, replacing this section of the current Service 56B.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach South West said: "The current service is operated under contract to Devon County Council. However, after assessing the route between Cranbrook and Exeter and considering the passenger growth, we decided that it would be possible to operate that part of the route without a subsidy from DCC.
"As Service 4, 4a and 4b have proved so popular, thanks to developer funding, we are now increasing the frequency of these services. Between Cranbrook and Exeter the service will now run every 20 minutes during the daytime whilst Devon County Council funding continues to support the rest of the route to Ottery St Mary, Honiton and Axminster."
A Devon County Council spokesman said: "The service has developed very successfully, and Stagecoach is now able to increase its commercial commitment. With continued Section 106 funding, and a new contract for the remaining part of the service, we're able to provide the improved service as Cranbrook continues to grow.
"The current arrangements, which continue the service to Honiton and Axminster, will be in place until at least until May 2022 with a longer-term aim of developing an ever stronger commercial core on the back of any further available funding."
The county councillor for Broadclyst Ray Bloxham, whose ward includes Cranbrook, said: "This is good news for local residents and a good response to the campaigning that we have done to get better and more frequent services to ease overcrowding."